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While the risk of a U.S.-North Korean conflict is still considered low, brinkmanship is already causing considerable collateral damage to the triangular relationship between the three great powers – the U.S., China and Russia – that was a defining feature of the Cold War.
China and North Korea have long ceased being true
friends and allies. Beijing, just as Washington, is at a loss for how to stop
the North Korean leader’s nuclear brinkmanship. The Chinese government wants the country to be seen abroad as a great new power, equal to the U.S. in dealing with the Korean Peninsula issue. But the reality is harsh. Over seven decades, the only policy tool that China has finessed to calm Pyongyang is paying money to the Kim family. In return, Pyongyang insults Beijing whenever its leader gets in a fit, and it embarrasses China abroad. No money means no talk.
The unique chemical and physical properties of rare earth elements make many cutting-edge
technologies possible. China is richly endowed with the resource and once
attempted to corner the REEs market. Beijing’s predatory policy was thwarted by
the WHO and the global economic slowdown, but the West’s efforts to develop
alternative supply sources have come up short.
Beijing’s 1996 Going Out strategy called for trade
and investment in developing countries to secure energy and raw materials for its
accelerating economy. Two decades later, China’s relationship with Africa is
evolving into a mature, balanced system of economic and political interests.
Tensions between East and West are mounting, but
Europe could gain strategically and economically from assisting in the development
of Siberia. Helping Russia shore up its eastern border with China this way would
be also in the long-term interest of NATO and the United States.
Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri